The men and women of the Spencer County Sheriff’s Office had a very busy year in 2019. January began with a new administration and changes in personnel and policies within the office. We were short-handed throughout the year with officers, jailers, dispatchers and kitchen staff. We suffered damages within the building from a lightning occurrence, reached record levels of inmates and worked on repairs and improvements that were highly needed at the Law Enforcement Center.
Deputies reported a total of 491 vehicle accidents worked by the Sheriff’s Office in 2019. Sadly, we report 7 of those accidents investigated involved fatalities. Deputies also filed 618 case reports with the top 5 calls for service being: 1) Theft/Burglary, 2) Battery/Domestic Violence, 3) Drug Incidents, 4) Information Reports, and 5) Operating While Intoxicated. We were the lead agency in a major drug investigation leading to five subjects arrested and worked five incidents involving a firearm. One of those cases resulted in a Murder charge, two of those resulting in Attempted Murder charges and two cases resulting in arrests for Criminal Recklessness with a Firearm. Deputies served a total of 1,788 civil process papers which was also an increase from the previous year. The total numbers nearly tripled in traffic enforcement with deputies writing a total of 730 traffic citations, 792 traffic warnings, 71 misdemeanor traffic arrests and 8 felony traffic arrests last year. As well as responding to calls, deputies were busy unlocking vehicles, completing VIN inspections, participated in numerous parades, events and talks to various citizen and school groups. Deputies responded to calls for assistance for other police departments and the Department of Child Services as well. We are also proud to report that deputies were first on the scene with one of our newly acquired AEDs. The two deputies were part of a team that was responsible for saving the life of a subject who was not conscious and not breathing.
Our jailers worked very hard throughout the year last year. The Jail Commander reported a total of 688 persons booked into the Law Enforcement Center which was an increase over the last few years. The five top bookings were: 1) Revocation of Probation, 2) Failure to Appear, 3) Operating While Intoxicated, 4) Possession of Methamphetamine and 5) Possession of Marijuana. The kitchen staff reported serving a total of 81,849 meals in 2019 to inmates at the Law Enforcement Center.
There were several changes made with the Dispatch Center at the Sheriff’s Office. During the lightning occurrence, the dispatch center was affected the most rendering much of the normal day to day technology useless. Spencer County was very fortunate to have the ability to use the Mobile Command Trailer provided to us by Homeland Security and Vanderburgh County EMA. During this time, we took advantage of upgrading the dispatch center. A program called Power Phone was installed, replacing Priority Dispatch. Power Phone has a wider variety of call taking functions and is more user friendly. This system is used to aid dispatchers in call taking on medical, fire and law enforcement calls. It also has quality assurance built in that assists in making sure that calls are taken in an efficient and timely manner. A program called Think Map is being utilized to provide necessary information to help all Emergency Response Personnel with pertinent information when responding to calls. Some of you may recall getting a call from our IDACS Coordinator to validate information that was submitted in the past. This is now being done to ensure all information is correct and up to date. Dispatchers were also involved in participating in numerous community events and school functions last year. The Communications Director reported there were 9,083 calls for 911 with 3,056 regular calls received into the Dispatch Center. This total does not include the three months they were working out of the Mobile Command Trailer. There were also 1,308 text calls to 911.
Calls for service by department were reported as follows:
Sheriff’s Office CAD Calls (Computer Aided Dispatch) — 14,719.
Rockport Police Department — 3,594.
Santa Claus Police Department CAD Calls — 1,930.
Dale Police Department CAD Calls — 810.
Chrisney Police Department CAD Calls — 24.
Emergency Medical Services CAD Calls — 2,233.
Fire Department CAD Calls — 1,029.
The Spencer County Sheriff’s Office strives to serve our community to the best of our ability. We appreciate all the support we have received and the patience during our time of transition.